Any accountants on here? Hoping for a little advise please

Fat_Tony

Distinguished Member
Hi folks

Hope everyone is well, I've not been on in a while.

I'm having a few issues with my accountant and hoped to clarify where I stand before I respond to her. Ideally hearing opinions from other accountants. It's a bit of a long read im afraid.

She completes mine and my wife's self assessment each year, the earnings are below the tax threshold so it's all fairly straight forward I believe.

Each year I would get letters from hmrc saying the return hasn't been accepted for various reasons, usually something about "supplimentary pages not being included / correct" I would forward these letters on to her and she would deal with it. Sometimes there would be mention of fees for late submission but again, she would deal with it and there was no problems.

Obviously with hindsight these should have been red flags, but as she always seemed to get there in the end I stuck with her. Also, I'm in Northern Ireland and she would also handle my earnings in the Irish Republic which she did with no issues at all.

I provided all our figures for the last uk return on Nov 4th 2021. In mid Jan I got a letter about missing supplementary pages and as usual forwarded it on to her, she assured me she would deal with it.

We got another similar letter in Feb which again she assured me would be dealt with.

Yesterday we got letters saying we both have a £100 late submission fee. I contacted the accountant and she said there is nothing that can be done, it'll just need paying.

My feeling is, I provided all the information 3 months before the deadline. No further figures were required from me so at this stage it's down to the accountant who I am paying to do our returns.

I won't be using her again as clearly she's not upto the task. However I feel gutted at the thought of having to pay £200 in late fees in addition to what I paid the accountant to handle our returns.

To me it all seems fairly obvious, she's screwed up and I'm hit with the bill. I'm paying for a service that I basically haven't received. But am I missing anything?

Is there any process for making a complaint about accountants? Some sort of code of practise or anything?

I really don't need the hassle. If her response had been to take some responsibility and maybe look for a solution I wouldn't be looking at complaining but the idea that I just have to take it on the chin doesn't sit well with me. Even if I hadn't decided to take my business elsewhere, she's done nothing to convince me we wouldn't be having the same issues next year yet again.

Just looking for any advise at all before I respond

Thanks for reading
 

Belzok

Distinguished Member
I would have a look on one of the letters from them, should show the bodies they are members of so you can complain.

Have you complained to them direct and asked for them to cover the late filing fees?

They may be busy but that's no excuse, as they should have told you, same with November being a bit late maybe but again if they can't do it they should be telling you, have they given you a date to give them the information by?
 

Desmo

Distinguished Member
In my experience this is going to be down to you and you'll have to just suck it up. Whilst the accountant acts on your behalf, it's still down to you to check your paperwork has been completed and submitted and you'll have to pay any fines due.

You may be able to make a complaint but I'd not particularly expect it to go anywhere.
 

Fat_Tony

Distinguished Member
Thanks for the replies, I've always provided my figures as soon as she requests them, usually around October November, I worked the same way with my previous accountant.

In this particular return, she's then contacted me in early December to say its done and here is the bill, which I've paid immediately as I always have done.

Im happy to accept any responsibility if I've screwed up, but generally if my accountant tells me it's sorted, I like to think I can take that as being sorted. I'm paying her so I don't have to understand the process.

Also its not a case of it being submitted late initially, it's that it's been repeatedly submitted incorrectly.
 
I'm with Deesmo on this. Suck up the fine and get another accountant. I wouldn't expect any complaint to get very far - all you will do is wind yourself up wasting your own time.
Move on with your life. Chasing any of the so called 'professions' isn't very productive in my experience.
 

Belzok

Distinguished Member
Thanks for the replies, I've always provided my figures as soon as she requests them, usually around October November, I worked the same way with my previous accountant.

In this particular return, she's then contacted me in early December to say its done and here is the bill, which I've paid immediately as I always have done.

Im happy to accept any responsibility if I've screwed up, but generally if my accountant tells me it's sorted, I like to think I can take that as being sorted. I'm paying her so I don't have to understand the process.

Also its not a case of it being submitted late initially, it's that it's been repeatedly submitted incorrectly.
In that case it's entirely down to them, if they've billed you prior to the deadline and they've failed to submit the self assessment for you then I would certainly would be chasing them for a reimbursement of the fines.

I would also talk to HMRC, or whoever is dining I'd it's the EIRE return that's prompting teh fine and explaining the situation as there will be black marks against you for repeated late filings.

Regardless I would be moving to another accountant if you're not comfortable doing the returns yourself.
 

Trajet

Well-known Member
Small claims court for the late fees perhaps. Fill out a form online and submit.
 

DavidTW

Member
Okay, I'm an accountant. What a lot of people do not understand is that "accountant" is not a protected term. So the first question is; is your accountant a member of a recognised professional body and regulated by them?
 

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